Border Terrier

Breed Summary

Border Terriers are active terrier of medium bone, with otter head, and his skull is broad and flat with plenty of width between ears and eyes. The body is covered with a close-fitting and intensely wiry coat. These dogs have dark-colored, V-shaped ears and dark hazel eyes. Their tail is tapered, and their feet are small and compact. Their cheeks are full and their expression and body posture gives an alert, fearless, and implacably determined look that is a characteristic of this breed. They are alert, active and agile, and capable of squeezing through narrow apertures.

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 88 of 196

AKC Classification: Terrier Group

UKC Classification: Terrier

Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 10 in.; Male: 11 in.

Weight: Female: 11-14 lbs.; Male: 13-15 lbs.

Physical traits: Small dog, Powerful, Muscular

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Hard coat, double coat.

Colors: Red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, wheaten

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Happy, Plucky

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: High

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


The Border Terrier is avery healthy and long-lived breed. They are not susceptible to no serious breed-specific diseases. Some Borders are less tolerant of hot weather, so outdoor exercise should be kept to a minimum when the temperature gets above 85 degrees F. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. An expert breeder needs to screen breeding stock for several health conditions such as hip dysplasia, Fanconi syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, juvenile cataracts, seizures, heart problems, and allergies. Their ears and teeth should be checked and brushed regularly to avoid certain diseases.


The Border Terrier dog depends on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Provide a diet according to the different stages of a dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for them. Consult with your veterinarian for further advice.


Border Terriers require early socialization and puppy training classes to develop positive exposure to a wide variety of people and situations from early puppyhood. During their early age, obedience training needs to start and continues throughout the Border’s life that will keep him happy and provide mental stimulation. The Borders cannot resist a chase and should only be off-leash in securely fenced areas. They are highly intelligent and highly trainable and are superstars at canine activities such as herding, obedience, and agility.


Border Terriers are active and energetic dogs that need plenty of exercises regularly. A Border Terrier must be provided with a half-hour walk or play session with his owner and a ball or flying disc to be healthy and happy. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. A Border Terrier must always be walked on a leash, and play sessions must take place inside a fenced-in yard or another secure area. They love to dig, so ideally any backyard fencing will extend underground for at least 18 inches. They often take part in many herding events, like obedience, agility, and tracking competitions, and sports such as flying disc and flyball.

Fun Fact

A number of movies and TV shows have featured Border Terriers over the years such as “There’s Something About Mary”, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”, etc.


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